Writing on Craig Ellenport reports: The final four of the US Open women’s draw took centre stage under the roof in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday night.
By the end of the evening, the stage was set for this weekend’s women’s final. Serena Williams, after defeating Anastasija Sevastova, 6-3 6-0, will be playing Saturday in her 9th US Open final.
Naomi Osaka, a 6-2 6-4 winner in the night’s second match, will be making her debut in the final at Flushing Meadows.
Williams, who has 6 US Open titles and 23 Grand Slam titles to her credit, had been rolling through the tournament, and so many in the Arthur Ashe Stadium were surprised when Sevastova took the first two games of the night, but Serena, the No 17 seed, turned things around in a hurry and proceeded to win 12 of the next 13 games to seal the victory in a quick 66 minutes.
Of course, Williams missed the 2017 US Open as she was busy having a baby, and she has slowly worked her way back into Grand Slam form.
“I couldn’t have predicted this at all,” Williams said. “Just been working really hard. Like I said, this is just the beginning of my return. I’m still on the way up.”
Osaka, the No 20 seed, became the first Japanese woman in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
She only needed 86 minutes for the straight-sets victory.
Amazingly, she saved all 13 break points that she faced against Keys, the 2017 US Open runner-up.
“This still feels really weird, because I’ve never beaten Madison before. She’s such a good player,” Osaka said on court after the match. “I just tried to think that I’ve never been in this situation before, [and] I’m just really happy to be here.”
Osaka and Williams will meet Saturday at 4 p.m. ET in Arthur Ashe stadium.
WOMEN’S DOUBLES WRAP: American CoCo Vandeweghe and Australian Ashleigh Barty knocked out No 1 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, 6-4 7-6(6) to reach the women’s doubles final.
In the second match of the evening, Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic took care of business against unseeded Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang , 6-4 7-6(4), to advance to the US Open final in an hour and 10 minutes.
MEN’S DOUBLES WRAP: Fans were treated to a double dose of excitement in the US Open men’s semi-finals on Thursday, including a win from the American team of Jack Sock and Mike Bryan.
For a while this was the only match in town as junior and wheelchair matches were suspended under the Extreme Heat Policy.
MIXED DOUBLES WRAP: Jamie Murray will attempt to win his fourth Grand Slam mixed doubles title when he partners Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Saturday’s final against Nikola Mektic and Alicja Rosolska.
The 32-year-old Scot has enjoyed his first tournament playing with the 33-year-old American.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “She’s a great player and she’s fearless. She puts herself out there. She’s not scared of the ball and she moves so well up at the net. She knows where to be.
“For me, I’m not stressed about having to cover ground or be here or be there because she’s in the right spots and then it’s easier for me to be in the right spots as well.”
JUNIORS WRAP: The top seeds in the boys’ singles and girls’ singles draws at the US Open, Cori Gauff and Chun Hsin Tseng, cruised into the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Emma Raducanu stormed into the Junior Girls’ quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-1 victory over 14-seeded Qinwen Zheng of China and marking the second time the British right-hander has reached a Grand Slam quarters, matching her best result at Wimbledon earlier this summer.
5 of 16 third round junior and the doubles matches, however, were not completed due to play not starting until around 3pm when the temperature dipped and then were suspended again when lightning storms hit the city.
BritWatch: Emma Raducanu d Qinwen Zheng (CHN) , 7-6(6) 6-1.
Brits in action on Day 11: Court 4 – Boys Singles R3 / To finish: Aidan McHugh v Thiago Seyboth Wild (BRA) , 4-6 0-3; Court 4 – Boys Doubles R3 / Anton Matusevich & Adrian Andreev (BUL) v Filip Cristian Jlanu (ROU) & Deney Wassermann (NED) ; Court 17 – Girls Singles QF / Emma Raducanu v Clara Burel (FRA) .
Prime Watch: Amazon Prime are streaming game 3 match courts in addition to its US Open Live Show channel, available via smart TV, FireStick, computer and mobile device.
These are live television feeds from Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, and Court 17.